Prior to the 2015 elections when he was struggling for his survival and that of his second term bid, I visited his house one morning and one discussion with a close friend of his led to another, till we got talking about the monstrous hurdles that were posing against our man’s chances of having a second term in the State House of Assembly. In sounding too optimistic, despite the odds that were coming from quarters very familiar to him, he told me he would have been more worried if Onofiok Luke never had that much fight.

So while I was constantly having a pant-level deep scare for Onofiok Luke, there was someone seeing the odds as one of the familiar features of his journey to success. How that very journey ended is now history, but the manifestations that have followed the victory have contributed to justifying the worthiness of the fierceness of the journey.

2015 came and went. Those who won elections got their offices and while most of them settled, others barely did, when fingers began pointing towards the next election year (2019). This time, Onofiok Luke is retiring from the state assembly, but not entirely exiting the polity. Rather, he is seeking promotion to a higher level of legislative engagement, like his campaign ads clearly capture.

Considering that it may not have been much of public knowledge how some god-assuming humans attempted to stampede him while the struggles for party tickets were still on, one may see his journey to 2019 as being less challenging – moreso, when the factors for consideration extends to the wide acceptance turning into support for him from within and outside the constituency. Actual truth is, since the battles came in silent tones, he preferred to deal with them silently as well. Besides, what would you expect of a man who has a big God and believes in his word, especially according Exodus 14 verse 14?

All things being equal, his journey to victory in this second phase should be as easy as it appears. But certainly not when he has become a thorn in the flesh of the human-gods who see him as a serious obstacle to their agenda of avarice. Even himself knows how dangerous it is to be unaware of the devices of the evil ones. Hence, complacency is nonexistent in his dictionary. Besides, he is known to be a true democrat who sees the electorates as the only means of getting political power. Reason he leads his campaign train through the wards in the federal constituency to engage the grassrooters and seek their support and votes to aid his already glaring success at the polls.

If any, the challenge(s) facing Onofiok Luke has gone beyond winning elections and are lying in wait for him post elections. Though I will reserve this as a topic for another day, clue however is that it is not distantly related to the popular saying that to whom much is given, much is expected. The congestion of committed and passionate supporters in his camp will explain a lot more.

Any aspirant seeking public office who finds himself surrounded by eighty percent of delegates willingly ready to nominate him to fly the party’s flag, will sure have something to worry about, except such an ambition does not have the people at heart. More worrying is when the support gets more massive after the ambition scales through the nomination level.

With reports sent to the public from the about sixteen wards across the constituency so far toured, political office holders will sure have a lesson to learn from the Onofiok Luke experience. Lesson that just one opportunity can earn you a hundred more and even better ones, only if you can earn the trust of the people by showing faithfulness and diligence in every of the opportunity given.

Imagine that one of the occasions where the #AmazingGrace campaign train landed in Nsit Ubium, the council chairman of Nsit Ibom and the Etinan Chapter Chairman of PDP had said that ordinarily, Onofiok Luke should not campaign in Nsit Ubium because supporters from the other two areas were attracted by the diligence and commitment with which he has been handling their mandate in Nsit Ubium, and confirmed him as the best man for the job. Put differently, Etinan and Nsit Ibom have been observing and envying God’s blessings to their sister Nsit Ubium area through Onofiok Luke’s representation, and when the opportunity to have him came, they seized it without hesitation.

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22 verse 29 as quoted above simply explains why the man in context is not only standing before kings, but also having the kings committing their time, energy and resources to giving him a share of the crown. Indeed, there are lessons to learn from the Onofiok Luke shore.

The AmazingGrace2019 Series (chapter 9)

BY Ubong Sampson


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